Top 3 Avenues for Honest and Open Communication

Whether you are operating a worldwide enterprise or a small start-up company, effective communication is important to the success of any business. No organization can succeed over the long-term if the workers fail to communicate. Lack of proper communication will be evident in the form of wasted time, missed appointments and disjointed meetings. However, companies have many technological tools that create an avenue through which honest and open communication is respected and valued.

Avenues for honest and open communication

As companies seek to compete effectively within the global economy, many ways of office communication have been developed. Many of these technologies provide the business with more efficient equipment to help with communication. A variety of technological tools have been developed to help with communicating. Some give the benefit of written form communication while others give the benefits of oral communication.

· Email

The electronic mail is a widely used form of business communication. Although organizations can use different forms of communication, the email offers an effective method of communication particularly when it is utilized properly. Email offers a good idea for firms to foster a one-on-one communication as well as cooperation. The email is equally valuable when the organization has several offices in different regions.

· Instant messaging (IM system)

The IM system offers a valuable tool for use in business. Instant messaging is superior to email. With the instant messaging program, managers and supervisors can take note of workers who have signed in, workers who are on their desks, workers who have left the office and workers who are attending meetings. Employees often receive the much required answers quickly using the Instant Messaging system than by email or phone. Knowing the employees who are available helps to save valuable time, helping business owners to find resources when they are required. The MS Office Communicator is a widely used IM messaging program. Many of the smaller businesses utilize the Web-based IM programs from Google, Yahoo and other sources.

· Intranet sites and SharePoint

Setting up an intranet site offers the best methods for smaller firms to keep their employees in the loop, communicating new information. Creating a “What is new” section on the company’s website offers an ideal way for talking about the new business wins, collect employees input through periodic surveys and post job opportunities. Furthermore, the company can use the MS SharePoint services to generate an internal website that has been designed for projects. The project managers can utilize these specialized websites in sharing information and documents, helping the project to operate smoothly and effectively.

Be Careful With Speaker Phone Communication

Not long ago, I reprimanded a colleague of mine who has the unfortunate habit of answering the phone while in a meeting with others, as to not to appear rude and then puts the caller on speaker phone. This is a real problem, first you have no idea what the person on the other line might say, and it could very well hurt the feelings of the third party. You also are putting the caller on the spot when they find out they are on speaker phone.

Sure one might say, you have nothing to hide and by being open like this, it lets everyone know they better play nice, but it also gets people to measure their words so tightly that you inhibit relevant information flow, much of which you will need to function, make decisions and get along in the world. Now then, I’d like to take this conversation to a higher level, so you will understand just how damaging this type of behavior really is.

This same individual often will put someone on the spot who they are having an argument or disagreement with and call up a third party for them to listen to the debate, apparently trying to get their way and get others involved. Unfortunately, this strategy turns South really fast because no one wants to be dragged into someone else’s fight, and it makes people wonder if sometime in the future if there is an argument with this individual that this colleague might do the same thing to them. What happens then?

Well, let’s look at human nature. Most people would wish to avoid that type of conflict, so they never get in an argument with said individual, but if so, and they never offer up a dissenting view then the individual loses out on the information flow. This creates scores of people who act like “corporate yes men” and never say what they are really thinking for fear of being humiliated by this individual. Sure, the individual gets to play power trip for a while, but it comes at a very high price to future communication between associates, friends, family, and their other colleagues.

What happens next? People distance themselves from the individual and their power is drained, and the organizational capital of the group is harmed in a non-repairable way. When you see such self-destructive behavior you have two choices, distance yourself from that individual or tell them straight up that you find it inappropriate behavior, and explain to them how it is sabotaging their future communication flow and career. Please consider all this and think on it.

Annoying Television Commercials

Years ago, we watched television programming interrupted by brief commercial breaks. Slowly but surely, we are moving toward watching commercials interrupted by brief bursts of programming. As the commercials increase in quantity, many are decreasing in effectiveness. Let us look at where we are today.

On a recent day in May, I counted the number of commercials on one major network in a 30 minute period. The total was 33. This ridiculous quantity leads to such viewer behavior as:

1. Changing channels to see if another network is still in program mode.

2. Pressing the mute button until a commercial sequence ends.

3. Resolving not to buy certain advertised products, usually those – –

a. Whose commercial is repeated to excess, sometimes even twice in the same sequence or

b. Whose presentation is excessively silly, irrelevant, confusing, or even filled with dire warnings about dangers associated with the product.

One wonders if advertisers are even aware of their commercials causing such viewer reactions.

As the quantity of commercials has increased, more of the advertising seems to be downright irrelevant or even negative. I suppose this comes from the producers of commercials exhausting their creativity in an overly saturated marketplace. For example, we are apparently supposed to get interested in buying a vehicle because we have watched it crash through a wall or into a chandelier hanging in the desert! These examples are so irrelevant that I cannot even remember the names or models of the vehicles advertised. I just spend a couple of seconds wondering what unusual theories are behind the creation of such presentations. Another negative example is the advertising of some prescription medicines. We are told that a product might help condition X but then legally cautioned that it might also stimulate thoughts of suicide or cause a heart condition or even lead to death. My usual reaction is to resolve never to use that product.

I do not know how much worse the situation can get. However, I believe that it is time for a consumer revolution. Years ago, ad revenue paid for programming. Today, television networks get revenue from both ads and cable or satellite companies. It seems that there should be no financial need making it necessary to increase the quantity of advertising to truly excessive levels. Here are some consumer actions that might help correct the situation:

1. WE should encourage one or more consumer organizations to rate all major networks on average times per hour devoted to advertising. Time measurement would help discourage a switch to fewer but longer commercials.

2. Then, as consumers, we should begin moving away from networks with the highest advertising time ratings.

3. We should write to companies that sponsor irrelevant ads and promise to boycott their products.

The goal of consumers should be to end the excessive number of television commercials but still allow a reasonable level, perhaps 9 or 10 brief commercials per 30 minutes of air time. A study by the consumer rating organization could suggest a maximum total time for such a reasonable number of commercials. Our role can be to become active rather than passive consumers who watch the current problem get worse and worse.

Communication Is The Heart Of Any Business

There is more than one way to communicate, such as letters, telegrams, telephone calls, and many more ways that two parties can speak to one another. However, while there are many ways to communicate, the problem is that these ways may not be as organized as they can be. A telephone company may offer a business features like the ability to make conference calls, but just being able to do that is not enough for a business that is growing and dealing with clients. With unified communications, a business can get many different sources of communication brought together so it can be used to make a business run even better than it ever has before.

Unifying Communications Systems Is Important

There have been many historical events all around the world that were shaped in one way or another by communication. Wars were won or lost all on the strength or weaknesses of a country’s communication system. If communication made a huge difference between winning a war or not, then people can begin to understand just how important it is. With a unified communications system, a business can have all of their forms of communications together, and there are many benefits to this kind of system:

Makes communicating easier: There are many forms of communications, like instant messages, conference calls, video conferences, and other ways that a business can communicate. Unified communications can combine all different forms of communication into one system, and with this one system, employees can find it a lot easier to be able to use this system.

Better ways to communicate: Sometimes a business does not have ways to communicate and a unified communication system is going to give communication option that employees never had before. If an employee has a problem with something, and needs to talk to another department, they can use an instant messaging system or even a video chat to get whatever it is they need help with resolved. Using many different ways to communicate is going to make work a lot easier for the employees, and they can also be able to get in touch with the upper management or even the owner of the company thanks to the communication system.

Many people under one system: Sometimes in an office situation, communication will not be the greatest, and things can get lost or misinterpreted. However, if everyone in the office is under the same communication system, there will be no more problems with things getting lost because there will be system that is safeguarding everything.

When it comes to a communication system, most businesses will look into what a telephone company has to offer in terms of things like email, instant messaging, video conferencing, and other forms of communication. However, though a phone company can offer any features, a unified communications system is much better than just telephone service because with one of these systems, all forms of communication are brought together, and employees can talk to one another any time they need to, which will help everyone work better and as one unit.

What Is ‘Effective Communication’?

Effective communication is a somewhat esoteric concept that is frequently applied to business management. It can, however, easily apply to our personal lives as well.

Put simply, effective communication aims at improving our understanding of the emotional content (*taps head and does a bad Bruce Lee impersonation) behind any given information. Theoretically, this understanding makes us more empathic and thus better able to relate to our spouses, co-workers, employers and friends.

Effective communication, then, aims at fostering a deeper understanding between communicators, by creating a stronger emotional resonance.

Experts in the subject maintain that the first step towards becoming a more effective communicator (should you wish to, of course) is to become a better listener. You can do this by fully focusing on the speaker (as opposed to being distracted, or deliberately distracting yourself), not interrupting them and openly demonstrating an interest in what the speaker has to say.

The next step, maintains that the use of open body language (e.g. not crossing your arms) and emphasizing a point via your body (such as tapping your head to indicate thinking ahead) is also very important to effective communication.

Step three is to focus on and thus better manage, your stress. A stressed person, even if their outward demeanour seems pleasant enough, gives off a lot of anxiety, from body language to posture, so it is best to deal with your anxieties privately before dealing with others (where possible).

Of course, effective communication is largely emotion-centric as a concept and so the final point brought up by the article is to improve your own emotional awareness. Essentially, this is the understanding of yourself and what makes you tick. It sounds obvious, even easy, but the truth is that most of us don’t have a clue. If you find yourself entrenched in petty squabbles or constant bickering with your friends, spouse, family or colleagues, then there is a good chance that there is something deeper that is bothering you. With a greater emotional understanding of yourself, not only will you be able to avoid potentially stress-inducing situations, but you should also be able to recognize patterns in others that you have seen in yourself, allowing you to become more empathic and, ultimately, a better communicator.

Making Use Of Communications Technology To Your Advantage

Advancement in communications technology has brought about many conveniences that never before thought possible. These days, even when you are in a remote place with no Wi-Fi services or cellphone services, you are still able to send email or talk to your loved ones by using a laptop that is connected to a portable device.

New communications technology has given the ability for individuals to link up to anyone in any part of the globe even without the usual channels that provide voice, video, and data communications. With the aid of the artificial satellites hovering above the planet, anybody can use mobile communication tools to successfully connect with other people in other places anytime and anywhere.

Each satellite communication tool is specifically engineered to suit specific functions and purposes. Today, the G2 mobile satellite two-way radio is being used by any industry because of its convenience. This tool is crucial as it is used to address the needs of public safety and emergency response workers.

The MSAT, on the other hand, is used to support continent-wide group and push-to-talk private communications. This tool allows a user to broadcast to many users while having the ability to override other users inside the same talk group during an emergency, also, it can link with existing trunked radio systems which enables users to extend their coverage.

The BGAN Satellite meanwhile has a wide range of functions and possible bespoke applications. This mobile satellite can be used for Internet and Intranet access, video conferencing, short message email, data transfers, and telephony. It could be that the most fascinating part in using this satellite communications device is the user-friendliness of its terminals. Using it does not require a tech engineering knowledge or allotting a few days of training because you only have to turn the BGAN on, point in the direction of the nearest satellite, then you are ready to send emails, make calls, or do video chats.

On top of the list is the ISatPhone Pro, a cool mobile phone you want to get your hands on. This handheld satellite phone provides clear satellite voice quality, global coverage, and eight hours of talk time. It also allows hands-free calls because it supports Bluetooth devices, which also allows sending of short message emails, SMS, and voice mails.

The ISatPhone can likewise operate in extreme weather conditions. It can withstand temperatures from -20°C to +55°C so you can stay in touch with your work mates or family even if you are in a place with extreme climate.

Stay in touch with the rest of the world even if you are in a remote place that can not be reached by common communication services. Choose from the range of mobile satellite devices available at [] and get one that will suit your needs.

Communication Woes in a Family

We can classify family communication or conversation as: preferred communication, guarded communication, unlimited communication, cosmetic conversation and dangerous communication.

Preferred Communication

We prefer to talk with friends and relations, who are either rich and influential, or who knows intimately an influential person for obvious reasons. The postulate is applicable universally, within a family or society.

We divide humanity in two groups: our group and other group. We associate ourselves with our family, our language, our culture, our state, our country and our religion.

Even within the family, we have God made relations (parents, children and siblings) and manmade relation (spouse, and in-laws). Most of us prefer to communicate/converse with God made relations over manmade relations. We are more comfortable when we chat with our siblings, parents and children, as we have grown together. We are formal during conversation with in-laws including daughter-in-law, sister-in-law and brother-in-law; the only exception is the spouse. During honeymoon period or for a few years later, we are at ease with the spouse, when warmth and intimacy is still visible for all to see. It cools down later. Familiarity brings in casualness, indifference or even contempt.

There is one way communication in families among some relations. Sisters are eager to talk with brothers or vice-versa; but with sisters-in-law it is one way communication from sister to sister-in-law. Brothers are keen to talk with each other; but with brothers-in-law it is one way communication from brother to brother-in-law.

Communication within extended family and within immediate family differ qualitatively and quantitatively. Grandparents are part of extended family to grandchildren and do not belong to the immediate family. During childhood, grandchildren interact with their grandparents and love them, but when in teens, the love gets diluted. It hurts grandparents. Childhood friendship /intimacy is like drawing a line on water, it has very short life.

Guarded Communication

Parents talk with their children without any inhibition, but it is not same with daughter-in-law or son-in-law. Spouses talk with Parents-in-Law carefully. Mother and daughter talk for hours, carefree and spontaneously. Conversation between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law is formal and guarded, for a slip of tongue can play havoc for years to come. Verbal encounters leave lasting impact and warmth between relations is never same. We tend to forget and forgive our God made relations but never our manmade relations. Why is it so? We communicate with God made relations from our childhood. We get used to it. There are sweet and sour memories of growing together till teens. Thus there is natural, and spontaneous conversation with siblings and parents.

Our first serious relationship outside our family, develops during our teens, when we have a boy/girl friend. There is a cosy but formal, exciting but guarded conversation with the boy/girl friend. It is not spontaneous. It is invariably a synthetic and structured conversation. The spouses converse and communicate with similar constraints.

Unlimited Communications

The era of short conversations, lasting couple of minutes is long over. Cheaper call rates encourage the users to indulge in long conversations. We get addicted. There is over-indulgence in this unproductive activity. People keep chatting even if there is nothing to talk to. This is time-pass activity and it does no good to society.

Cosmetic Communication

The paradox of modern era is that friends, relations and spouses don’t share warmth and enthusiasm of life. Their communication is cosmetic and lacks warmth. There is concern for each other in conversation; but it lacks depth. The couple may continue to share a common goal: welfare of family; but there are individual career goals too, which take over-riding priority. The spouses want to pursue their careers to enhance own status in the society and for the extra money which is always needed, for a successful life.

The time spent together dwindles and spouses adjust their life style. It is not a healthy trend in married life. To make up for time, all desirable entertaining/leisure activities are mechanically executed.There is avoidable hurry even when we intend to: see a movie, visit resorts, buy gifts, hug each other or indulge in romance. Life is no longer warm, it is cold and cordial.

The maxim ‘old is gold’ is true, but spouses can take each other for granted. It results in casualness, lack of warmth and enthusiasm in life. The mantra for a successful relationship is to sustain the honeymoon euphoria as a permanent life style and avoid cosmetic conversations which are cordial but mechanical.

Dangerous Communications

People walk and talk with mobile all the time. They even drive and talk with mobile cleverly hidden. In Oriental countries people drive two-wheelers with one hand and hold mobile in second. People cross railway tracks, listening FM channels with ear-phones in the ears and fail to hear the approaching train. These are dangerous trends in society. We have to learn to live with technological advances.

Communication a Boon or Bane!

Communication and conversation are unique characteristics of humanity; other species have it, but to a very limited level. Is it a boon or bane? It depends upon us, the users. We can learn and inculcate the art of conversation; if we realise its importance. It will enhance peace and harmony in family, society and world at large.

Are You Communicating Cross Culturally?

Most people believe that translating from one language to another is word for word, especially if they have never been actively involved in communicating with people whose native language isn’t the same as ours. Cross cultural understanding is complicated and requires greater effort, greater understanding and asking more questions.

One of the main principles of cross cultural communication is dynamic equivalent. This is the concept which recognizes that how an idea is expressed in one language may be expressed very differently in another language. My favorite example of the dynamic equivalent is the Spanish phrase hace frio. It is the Spanish way of saying “It’s cold”. However, if translated literally into English, the translation would be “It makes cold”.

The purpose of communication is understanding the other person, based upon true respect for people. Words are descriptive, not constructive. Words have meanings. Feelings may be communicated with words, but are also really understood by facial expressions, body language and actions. So, we cannot translate the feeling of a word into another language if the meaning of the word is different. And, if we do not work at understanding the other person, and being understood, then everything degenerates to superficiality.

Another mistake that novices make in cross cultural communication is failure to recognize that cultures are very different. Often the differences are very subtle. Sometimes the differences are so great that we don’t even grasp their significance. But, the culture and social norms of the person we are talking to are just as important in communication as are the meaning of their language.

In reality, in order to learn English one must not only learn the meaning of the words, but must also learn the cultural context of the words. There are several cultural contexts in the USA, not just one. So, how I use words and expressions in English will vary from what the same words might mean in a Latino-American or African-American or Pittsburgese context.

My cultural context is Midwestern anglo. I don’t have to apologize for growing up white in Midwest farming communities, speaking English. In the same way, my wife does not have to apologize for growing up speaking Spanish in the affluent part of Tampico, Mexico.

Communication is not about criticizing or diminishing other people for their differences, but it is about understanding other people. If their language and cultural context is different from ours, then we will have to take more than 15 seconds to truly understand other people. Failure to take time to understand demonstrates true disrespect, and reflects on the disrespectful person, not the one disrespected.

What Is Communications Technology?

Broadly speaking, the term ‘communications technology’ can refer to any technology that allows its users to communicate with one another. Using this (admittedly loose) definition, two-way radios and mobile phones fall into the category of ‘communications technology’.

The term also refers to computers and computer-related work. Here in the UK, schoolchildren study a subject called ‘ICT’ this stands for ‘Information and Technology’ (although when this rapidly ageing writer was at school, it was known simply as ‘IT’ or, ‘Information Technology’).

As the Internet has become a more and more prevalent part of our society, communications over longer distances have become significantly easier. In fact, these types of communications are easier now than at any other time in Human history. Ergo, it stands to reason that computers should be considered as a prime form of communications technology.

Basic, everyday acts such as checking your emails, updating your Facebook or Twitter feed, answering the phone, or taking Skype calls are all a part of ‘communications technology’ as are the two-way radios used by public transport, security firms and the emergency services.

A person who makes a living by working with ‘comms tech’ is likely involved in the designing, creating, implementing or maintaining of communicational systems. Such systems can include radio networks, mobile phone providers, telephone companies, even television. It is a broad and ever-expanding field, which makes it difficult to ascertain exactly what a person actually does if they list it as their job title.

When somebody tells you that they are a plumber, for example, you get a broad idea of what they do for a living all day. If I tell you that I am a professional copywriter, you at least have some notion as to what that entails. A person who works in the field of ‘comm tech’ could be doing almost anything.

In case you’re wondering, the Internet itself can be considered as a communication technology, given that any person who uploads videos or writes blogs is communicating the very second that those blogs are read or those videos are watched.

Telecom’s is a huge field and, as I think you’ll agree, a pretty important one. Without the ability to communicate with others, either via short distances on your mobile or much longer distances (such as the distance between our office in the UK and your home on the African continent), this world would be a vastly different place.

Causes of Miscommunication

Communication is the key to almost everything a human does. Emotions, gestures along with feelings are needed to be communicated and it is due to this communication only that the sender sends and the receiver receives the messages. But the accuracy of the messages received and messages that are sent solely based on how they are communicated.There were several reasons stated by the experts of miscommunication but there were three basic reasons that almost all the experts covered in their speeches, which become the main reasons for a communication to be misinterpreted. They are as follows:

You Are Here Approach:

This kind of approach might work for mall directories but it normally fails when it is required to explain things. It is commonly observed from writers and narrators that when someone asks them about any particular issue which is generally termed as how-to question, they start answering that question in detail whilst refraining to explain the core concept behind it, what we may call it as the bigger question of why.

Tunnel Vision:

Another reason for being vague or incorrect in any communication is focusing too closely on what you know and where you are heading. For example, everyday while going to work you follow the same path so chances are that after some days your brain start acting like auto pilot, so you actually don’t really pay attention to the details on your way which can be a landmark or the number of turns and so on. But when someone else asks you about the way, they have a broader picture in their minds and in order to navigate them you need to tell them the way with landmarks and number of turns, also they might have an alternative way in their minds. So you should ideally be talking about the expected goal for your presentation and you should also help the person understand what you are trying to tell him.

Too Much Detail:

Too much detail can also be very confusing at times. Imagine you are travelling on a highway and your Google maps say turn right. How good it would be if there is only one road turning right, but what if the road turning right splits in to six lanes? Which lane would you choose then? Similarly a listener has also various chances to get lost and it mostly happens when they are overloaded with too much information. Therefore the communicator should always stick to telling only the most necessary information while communicating, keeps the entire communication interesting and fruitful.

Communication is the key to almost everything a human does. Emotions, gestures along with feelings are needed to be communicated and it is due to this communication only that the sender sends and the receiver receives the messages.